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Old 02-03-2010, 01:16 PM   #1
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Is synthroid stronger than generic levo?

I'm wondering because when I was first diagnosed hypothyroid, I started on generic 25mcg, and it barely budged my numbers, so when my dose was upped to 50 I switched to Synthroid.

Fast forward 4 months, went super hyper on 50 mcg, lowered to 25, still low tsh after 6 weeks, so was told to discontinue and see how I felt. I figured since they couldn't really figure out why I was hypo (negative antibodies) I figured maybe it was temporary -- NOT!!

Needless to say, felt awful after 3 weeks (TSH 7.68, Free T4 .91) and saw endo this time who put me back on 25mcg, but synthroid this time. So just wondering if the generic didn't help back then, will the synthroid be stronger? Since the 50 was way too much he said we'd start at 25 and go from there.

Are there any other things that can cause you to go hyper other than overmedication if you have negative antibodies? I still can't understand why it took 4 months to go hyper. Then endo called it a temporary thyroiditis, so was it overmedication or what???

Thanks for listening, I'm so sick of this thyroid driving me nuts!!!

 
Old 02-03-2010, 09:34 PM   #2
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Re: Is synthroid stronger than generic levo?

It isn't that Synthroid is "stronger"... It's just different in the way it's manufactured, so that it acts differently within your body. Absorption of the generics can be spotty, at best. Because Synthroid generally for most people absorbs better, it can hit one like a ton of bricks sometimes.

You may have had better luck staying on the generic, increasing the dose steadily every 6 weeks until your free T4 and free T3 rise to mid lab range, minimally. Or you may not have trouble with a different name brand, such as Levoxyl, Levothroid, or Unithroid. You'll have to experiment to find something that works better. Remaining unmedicated isn't much of a choice, at least to me, it wasn't.

I have to tell you, my own starting experience was much like yours. My unmedicated TSH was near 7, and I was given 75 mcgs of Synthroid. I was overmedicated and hyper within a month, so the dose was reduced to 50 mcgs. (This is the smallest therapeutic dose; 25 mcgs is not a true dose.) I was still hyper 6 weeks later. Since the dose couldn't be reduced any further, the MD told me to stop taking it and wait until I got "sick enough" to "tolerate" it. That wasn't an option for me that made an iota of sense. From reading this board and others, I was aware of Armour thyroid and wanted to try that. I had to find an MD to prescribe it; the first would not. I began taking a very small starter dose of it, gradually worked my way up to an optimal dose, and never once became overmedicated that whole time. It was gentler on my system and worked extremely well for me until recent manufacturing changes caused it to stop working. I switched to another brand of natural thyroid and am fine once again.

So.... You have options, too. You could try a different brand of T4, or you could try natural thyroid. You, like me, may have to switch MDs to get a script for natural thyroid, because it isn't held in much esteem anymore. But millions of people do take it successfully.

I hope you'll find something more tolerable soon!

 
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Old 02-04-2010, 05:49 AM   #3
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Re: Is synthroid stronger than generic levo?

I did not do well on the four dollar generic synthroid. It is cheap, but did not work for me. I'm sure it has the same amount of T4 as synthroid, but it just did not agree with my system.

 
Old 02-04-2010, 06:46 AM   #4
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Re: Is synthroid stronger than generic levo?

Thanks for your replies.

The generic also didn't work for me so I'm hoping I have better luck with the Synthroid 25's.

What is a non-dose? If 50 is too much, 25 wouldn't work? Maybe I need something in between?

I go back in 6 weeks, so I guess I'll have to be patient and see what happens.

 
Old 02-04-2010, 07:25 AM   #5
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Re: Is synthroid stronger than generic levo?

Twenty-five mcgs is just enough to lower TSH - which is a pituitary hormone, not thyroid - without raising T4 and T3, the actual thyroid hormones. Sometimes, it will even cause a net loss of T4/T3 to points below where they were when you started.

If you're patient, you can certainly try that "dose". Maybe you'll be an exception it will work work for.

 
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